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Yesterday, I came out of a restaurant after having lunch, started my car and heard a reciprocating noise from the front end that got worse if the wheel was turned in either direction, like a bearing going bad. I don't know if it was making the noise prior to stopping for lunch. I immediately drove to my repair shop, the steering degenerating until it was very hard to turn the wheel as I pulled into their lot. They called today to say that my rack & pinion assembly needs replacing. I trust this shop but I'm wondering if the repair could be simpler than this.
Could you give me an estimate of expected brake pad mileage before requiring replacement. Driving style is pretty conservative, not overly fast and generally within the speed limit and I would estimate spent approximately 80% of the time on city, short-run driving. Also, I have heard that front brakes tend to wear out before rear brakes due to the shift in weight onto the front wheels as braking occurs. Would both sets be in need of replacement at the same time? When at the dealership for an oil change, my wife was told told her original brake pads needed replacement after 34,000 miles. I'm wondering if she got taken. Your assessment?